Creativity Shines in Annual Poetry Month Contest

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In the month of April, New Hampton School celebrated National Poetry Month with an all-school poetry contest. English Department Head Luke Tobin shared his gratitude for all of the students—and several faculty members—who submitted their poems throughout the month of April. April is a special month in the English department, marking a celebration of acclaimed poets and works while encouraging students to creatively express their ideas, thoughts, and emotions through their writing.

Poems were collected by English teachers throughout the month of April, then names were removed from the poems and assigned a number to ensure fair judgment. Finally, all of our English teachers read through the poems and voted on their top selections while paying close attention to form, sound, tone, development, imagery, and language.

Here are the winning poems for this year’s poetry contest, as announced during Art Awards 2023 on Friday, May 12. Thank you to our faculty for encouraging students to take creative chances, for sharing poems to inspire us during last month’s school meetings, and for working selflessly outside of the academic day to review the submissions.

Honorable Mentions

Mr. Tobin noted that we have three honorable mentions this year. These students created poems to shed light on identity, social pressures, and even frustrations with poetry. This year’s honorable mentions are:

“Broken Chair” by Ella O’Neill
“The World is Ending” by Laura Liebert

Poetry Award Winners

3rd Place

Cut Short
by Ava Millerick

I am vibrant as a patch of pink peonies
If you ask my father
Bubbly and friendly
If you ask my cousin
If you ask me
Excited to dance on the stage again
Play in another tennis match
Earn those grades that will someday make me a nurse
Discarded on 110 Freeway
Bullet through my neck
I was only 16
I am Tioni Theus and I cannot tell my story

Shopping with my mom and grandmother
Grabbing last minute essentials before heading off to Jacksonville University
I climb into my green Chevy Malibu
Can’t wait to study criminal justice
To become an FBI forensic agent
To make sure those girls receive justice
Green turns to red
Bullet to my skull
Rode rage or racially motivated?
I am Bianca Roberson and I cannot tell my story

I attend church weekly
Sing in the choir
Keep to myself
Like you’re supposed to
What else could I have done?
I am Charlene Johnson-Lane and I cannot tell my story

We are black girls
We are black women
We cannot tell our stories
So why aren’t you?

2nd Place

By Lindsey Taylor

There’s a monster living inside of me..

Mama there’s a monster living inside of me.

My body aches of hunger no longer,

I can’t feel the synching of my stomach anymore,

It’s faded away.

The monster that lives inside of me tells me I have to be small.

“I can’t eat that” I say,

“I can’t eat that, I can’t eat”

And no one knows how it hurts,

How it drags me to the ground every day,

Just to pick me back up and push me down again.

Mama there’s a monster living inside of me.

I’m not myself,

I’m not the loving, outgoing, funny person I used to be.

I can’t feel anything but pain.

I can’t think of anything but food.

I can’t count anything but calories.

The monster that lives inside of me now controls me.

I don’t see myself in the mirror.

I see a monster.

I see something I am scared of.

My cheeks concave in,

My fingers long and skinny,

My collarbones stick out,

My eyes hold a dark bag under them.

“Who is this?”

“This is not me.”

“This is a monster.”

I’m scared of the thing I see in the mirror.

Mama there’s a monster living inside of me,

Mama there’s a monster living inside of me,

Mama I need help.

I need help I say,

But no one can hear me,

Because what I’m actually saying is,

“I’m fine”

I’m fine mama,

It’s normal,

I’m supposed to look like this.

But this is not normal.

It is not normal to feel like this.

It is not normal to be consumed by the thought of food.

It is not normal to dream about calories.

It is not normal to feel this monster inside of me,

Mama there’s a monster living inside of me.

1st place

By Reagan Comora

By definition means.
Of a size that is less than normal.
By definition means.
Insignificant and unimportant.
By definition means.
Lacking strength and confidence.
What I am called on the field and in the rink.
By coaches, teammates, parents
But do I realistically fit these characteristics?
See when I am called “small”
People don’t mean a seed that grows into a tree.
They don’t mean a match that will igniting a fire.
People see being small as restricting.
Something that needs fixing.
I know I am not the “biggest” person
I do not have a big booming voice
I do not have the height to reach high places
But see
I have learned that being small has given me a unique perspective
Without a doubt I see the world from a different angle quite literally
I have to adapt and do things differently
So, I don’t need a booming voice, all I need is a microphone

I don’t need the height to reach high places, all I need is a stool to step on
My size doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of me.
So do not think that the characteristics of small realistically depict me
Because I am not insignificant or unimportant

I do not lack strength or confidence
Yes I am small
But In no way am I restricted or need to be fixed

Congratulations to all of our poets!

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